MONTHLY ZOOM MEETINGS

MONTHLY ZOOM MEETINGS

Con and Dec hosted a fantastic Zoom meeting last Sunday.  But it was sad to hear they will no longer be a weekly fixture. They decided now we are virtually out of the national lockdown that it is no longer necessary to have weekly meetings. But as they have been so successful with many people tuning into the replays over the days to follow, they decided they will carry on with the meetings in a slightly different format on a monthly basis. Namely the first Sunday of every month. So, we all duly slotted those dates in our diaries for the next year to come and we will without doubt, be avidly looking forward to those Sunday afternoons in question.  The next one will be held at 2.30pm BST on Sunday 6th September. 

It does make sense for Con and Dec to conduct their meetings on a monthly basis. I have wondered over the last fabulous 17 weeks of weekly Sunday meetings when would Con start running out of the lovely cine films his son Greg puts together of their fabulous holidays they had and tours they made during the 60s and 70s. Remembering back to those years – we didn’t take many holidays away compared to now. No one had anywhere near as much annual holiday leave from work as people do today.  So Con must have shown us most of his holiday memories by now. My Dad only used to have one week’s paid holiday each year! Just one week! He used that by taking my Mum and I to Devon or Cornwall. Although I remember in 1961, we had a fortnight’s holiday starting in Devon and finishing at Bognor Regis – so Dad must have taken one week without pay, which is something I doubt he could easily afford at the time. We didn’t have any holidays after my sister was born in 1964 – at least not until she was about 7 years old. Con and Dec were lucky to take holidays in such wonderful places. Con shared the cine films showing the various locations with Kay wearing beautiful clothes or sunbathing. We learned that Kay did not like water, as in swimming and only felt safe if she was seated inside an inflatable armchair – with Con at hand near-by to save for from falling out. My Mum was far worse, she was terrified of the water and I inherited the fear from her having seen how frightened she was – so I never did learn to swim. We saw extracts of filming from a holiday that Con and Dec took with Kay and Sandy when the four of them toured Europe in Con’s Rolls Royce. Thy showed the Rolls Royce too – which I saw when I went to some shows in 1974 and the following year.

Con and Dec showed us some old pictures of themselves as children and young men and there were pictures of their parents and brother Aidan and their sister Brenda. It was lovely to see Con looking smart in his school uniform of flannel type short trousers and blazer along with a cap. And there were pictures of the boys wearing Fair Isle type tank tops which were typical children’s fashion in the 1940s and 50s. We saw a picture of their mother taken as a flapper girl, a bright young thing in the 1920s wearing a top fashion dress of the time along with a short hairstyle. We saw their father as a young man and I can well see how their mother fell in love with him as like Con and Dec, he was very good looking. They spoke of Aidan who died at the age of 19. He had a troubled life having caught tetanus from rusty pedal of a bike which Con said he still has. Aidan also had TB and polio. It is awful to think of how he suffered and what he had to endure and it was all so sad for the whole family. And how Dec had to take death of a loved one on board from someone so close to him at a very young age. We saw Dec holding a model airplane box – he had such an impish smile on his face. Dec said that not many pictures were taken by anyone in those years – which is so true. They have so few pictures of themselves as children. I only have two photos of my Mum as a little girl and two of my Dad as a little boy. I would love to have seen more. What I have been left with now both my parents have gone are pictures of relations I do not know. I have no clue as to who these people were and I have no one left who is older than me that can tell me. All that information sadly went with the generation that is no longer alive.

Dec sang “Railway Porter” and he used old films of railways and trains for the background and it was all so fitting. He did a wonderful job at researching the correct material to use. They spoke of the work that their father carried out for CIE the Irish Railway system. He stayed up all night once to make a design. And it was in later years that Dec spent six months working as a Civil Design Engineer at their office in Dublin. Dec took part in the design of small windows in part of the engine system that is still in existence today but can only be rolled backwards on the tracks. Dec admitted that the song “Railway Porter” was too short and he decided to make up a chorus to lengthen it and it blended in perfectly with an excellent choice of words.

Con asked if we were keeping fit during the lockdown. He told us he usually gets up and goes for walks around his house when the adverts come on while he is watching ITV. Well – I would say he must get a lot of exercises in at those times. He must have a chance to check every room during each set of adverts. I find the adverts go on for so long that there is time to wash up the dishes after a main meal. Or iron a week’s worth of shirts or blouses. Sometimes mid-way through the programme I wonder if the programme has finished altogether and that the adverts will stretch over to the start of the next programme. At least with BBC we get more solid viewing time.

So to have monthly meetings will enable Con and Dec to stretch out their material over a longer length of time. Then they can pick out the highlights from the month they just had to show us what tricks they have been up to since the previous meetings. Of course, they will never run out of songs to sing. I went through all the LPs and CDs and I picked out random songs that I like and sent a list to Dec to use as ideas or suggestions – which he thanked me for. The boys have worked relentlessly on our behalf every week since the national lockdown started. Dec has worked well into the night sourcing information and putting videos together to support the songs they sang. Con said, they got better and better every week.  Dec found out he was an ace at mastering those tasks having taught himself so much over recent weeks as in putting videos together. That is an excellent achievement, especially for a man of Dec’s age. Most would not have a clue and would not be bothered to stick with it and obtain the same results. Dec has often worked hard well into the night and small hours of the next morning putting everything together for us. So we have to say a big thank you to Dec for all he has done for us. Then to both of the boys together he and Con spent many hours in the day linking up on Zoom to sing the songs and record them together. So maybe now the pressure is off somewhat, they can both go back to enjoying more time with their families and attending to other jobs they have lined up.

They did their first show in many months this Sunday just gone. Con says it felt like 100 years or so since they last did a show. This location was Launde Abbey just outside of Leicester and it was a private event. Unfortunately it was not a show us fans could have gone to. One of our members was gnashing her teeth because it was only just down the road from where she lives. And what is more, it was to be her birthday a few days later which would have made it into a special treat for her. Such a bitter disappointment to her. Dec told us it was to be  be an afternoon show which means he had to leave his house in Eastbourne at 7am – which he is not best pleased about. However, there was a vintage car show at the event which is right up Dec’s street. So that should have been worth his early start to the day. He will have well and truly enjoy seeing them because he has always had an avid interest in vintage cars – having owned a few himself. Here’s hoping he took some pictures to show us at the next meeting. The show itself took place outside. Two people shared photographs taken of the show on our club Facebook page. Apparently it rained hr towards the end and they had to clear the equipment away very quickly. They were perfectly safe because the audience was well socially distanced away from them.

I was lucky enough to win the competition at the last meeting – although another member said he got the correct answer before me. So it is really a matter of the boys giving fans fair turns to be the winner rather than giving it to the first person with the correct answer to the given question. Otherwise it could be the same person winning every time. The question they asked this time was “What sort of engineer was Con before they became famous”. I always remembered Con was a heating engineer and wondered if he set up the central heating systems in his homes. So, Dec invited me to un-mute myself and asked if I had any questions or stories to tell.  I asked what makes their perfect Sundays aside the Zoom meetings. As you will have read about their perfect Sundays in 2009 in my last blog, I found that Con’s Sundays in 2020 remain the same, by going to church in the mornings and spending time with his family in the afternoons. Dec’s answer was different. He said they’ve never had weekends as such as those times were taken up by doing shows on Saturday nights and recording on Sundays. Con kindly asked me about my Sundays so I told them the same things that I mentioned in my last blog. Then Dec asked me which was my best weekend ever. And I had to say it was when I saw them at Cardiff Bay in July 2013 along with Kathy and Charles Brown and Annie Hefford. I told the boys and everyone else present that it was a wonderful atmosphere there and I remembered how much the boys themselves loved it. And the shows stretched out over three days – although I only stayed for two days. They were outside shows and as the weather was lovely, it felt like being abroad. And I mentioned the posh bar we all ended up in. We had to access that by taking a lift to the top floor of a building – the lift was made out of glass. The prices at the bar were extortionate. And I said I half expected Roger Moore to turn up as it was his kind of place. Dec then told us the owner was a Romany and she saved £50 notes in old ammunition boxes and she buried them all. Then when she dug them all up, she found all the £50 notes were wet and she had to dry them out with a hairdryer and iron them afterwards. And she used that money to launch herself with the purchase of that venue.

It will likely be months before I get to speak again at these meetings now because there will be many other fans in line to be given their chance to take part in that way. So, roll on every first Sunday of every month. I cannot think of a better monthly highlight for us all.

It means my blogs will be less frequent because I won’t be fired up so often with ideas taken from the meetings to talk about every week. Like the boys, I could run out of steam in a matter of time – so it will be good to stretch out the information I have from past newsletters over longer periods of time to keep it all as interesting as I can. Besides – I have bad arthritis in the fingers of my right hand. It hurts like mad to type – at least it will until the damage has been finished on all my knuckles – by which time the pain will no longer exist and hopefully by then I can resume typing, hand-writing and drawing again to my heart’s content. Roll on those times too – besides The Bachelors monthly Zoom meetings.

Here is an extract from the September 2004 newsletter with a list of quick questions.

The most scary moment of your life?

Con: When an engine blew up on the plane coming from Australia. We did an emergency landing in New York.  (They spoke of this at one of the meetings)

Dec: Flying with a novice pilot. 

What car do you drive? 

Con: Vauxhall

Dec: BMW, MGB, Bentley

What watch do you wear?   

Con: A Swatch- which is easy to read

Dec:  None

Current or last book read? 

Con: “Puckoon” by Spike Milligan

Dec:  “Dark Side Of The Moon”

Last CD bought?

Con: Robbie Williams

Dec: Darkness

Are you a collector of anything specific? 

Con: Antiques to go with the house. Old Pictures etc

Dec: Money

Favourite fashion clothing/designer? 

Con: Ben Sherman. Armarni suits and Pierre Cardin shoes

Dec: Versace and Ben Sherman

Favourite fragrance?   

Con: The smell of brook and gorse bushes in the garden, which means summer is coming soon.

Dec: Borgon and Viglia

Your greatest extravagance 

Con: Playing golf and being a member of an exclusive golf club.

Dec: Spending money on people I like

Your general philosophy of life?

Con:  Work hard, play hard and help others and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Dec: Keep happy, keep successful, be honest, never tell a lie. If you help people to achieve what they want, you can have everything you want.  

One thought on “MONTHLY ZOOM MEETINGS

  1. Hi Lynne, Thanks for another very interesting blog. Sunday was strange with no zoom meeting. However I was very busy. Rich and Toyin returned from their Scotland visit Saturday night. They had requested I make them my cottage pies for them on their arrival. I made 4 so Frank and I had one each for our dinner on Saturday as well. Then I did a big Sunday dinner for the 4 of us on Sunday. We had roast pork with crackling, roast potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli with cheese and roast carrots and parsnips. Then Richard wanted Yorkshire pudding as well. I hate making those, they are never good, but I produced some horrid as usual ones for him. It was very tiring by the end of the day, but it was good fun. He is back to school next week so things will change around the house when he starts again. Toyin is working from home, and will be doing so for as long as they let her. She enjoys it and says she can get a lot more done at home. Well, better close. So looking forward to next Zoom meeting. Love Sue xx

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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